Independent Legal Advice or ILA is required when you engage in property transactions in the UK. Not everyone is familiar with the independent legal advice procedures and as a result could be having many questions and doubts regarding this process. Here are some of the most common questions that people have about independent legal advice.
Is it mandatory to get independent legal advice certificate when engaging in a property transaction? Yes, this is a prerequisite in the UK when you are borrowing money and the lender would need you to submit this certificate before the application could be successfully processed.
Will the lender arrange for a legal advisor? No the lender does not arrange for a legal advisor. This independent legal advisor as the term suggests should be someone that is not involved with the loan application process. You are required to find your own independent legal advisor, who is of course a qualified and licensed lawyer.
What is the purpose of this independent legal advice? This is to ensure as a borrower you and the person who is not benefitting from the loan but is still required to sign the loan agreement understand the legal implications of the contract and what they are entering into. The legal advisor will also establish that no one is entering into the contract or signing the contract under any influence or force.
How long does this process take? Normally, it should be completed with a single appointment whereby your legal advisor explains the contract to you fully and gets you to sign the document in their presence. Once this is completed the legal advisor will issue the certificate that they have fulfilled their duty of explaining the legal terms and conditions to the borrower and that the document has been signed in their presence without anyone’s force or influence.
Who pays for the independent legal advisor fee? The person obtaining the legal advice certificate pays the fee.
How much does it cost to get the independent legal advice certificate? This will vary from one lawyer to the other. You may want to compare the fees between multiple lawyers before getting your independent legal advice. If you are rushing in the last minute, you will not have time to review and compare the fees. You would be forced to go with the first service provider that you come across and as a result end up paying more than what you should for your independent legal advice. The lender or the financing institution does not insist that you should use any specific lawyer. It is up to you therefore to identify the right lawyers that charge a reasonable fee.
How is this service charged? Normally, lawyers charge a flat fee for this service and you may want to however establish that there are no hidden charges when you select any particular lawyer as your independent legal advisor. Take your time to review the credentials of your independent legal advisor before you select any of them for your needs.